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Zaborac nears 50 years at Kent Bowl
Jack Zaborac has been opening the doors at about 7:30 in the morning at Kent Bowl for nearly 50 years and the fun keeps rolling down the lanes.
At 85, many may think it's time to hang up the bowling shoes, but for Zaborac, known as Zab, there is still work to be done and time to enjoy his business.
Kent Bowl, located at 1234 N. Central Ave., was built in 1958. Zab took over as manager in 1962.
"I left a very good job at Boeing to take this," Zab said.
At the time there were cows grazing in the pasture next to the bowling business.
Zab said over the years he bought the business from the original seven stock holders "bit by bit. I never asked them to sell. Only the last one. They were all good people."
Zab said he believes, "every community needs a bowing establishment" because it is a family sport.
He feels a well-run bowling business like Kent Bowl helps offset "all the negative things in the world today."
He stated the secret to his success is, "I have a positive attitude, I haven't owed a dime here for a long time and I happened to make the right decision at the right time."
Zab said from the first day he was willing to work hard.
"For 49 years I have been here seven days a week," he said.
Zab said he and his wife, Vivian worked "hand in hand. I wouldn't have made it without her."
Vivian died in 2000 from cancer.
Zab said one of the features he and his wife started that kept Kent Bowl together over the decades was the Kent Bowl tournament. When the couple first started the tournament there was 100 entries and at the height Kent Bowl pulled in 8,700 entries and the tournament lasted 16 weeks.
Zab was raised in Illinois and at the age of 17 in 1942 quit school to join the Navy. He served on a gun crew for merchant ships during World War II.
After the war he came out to the Pacific Northwest to work at Boeing.
"I left Boeing because there was nothing to do," Zab said. "That's why I ended up here."
Kent Bowl will be a bowling establishment as long as he is the owner. Zab said.
He continues to keep up with the latest renovations including converting 20 of the 32 lanes to synthetic. Zab said 12 will remain wood because some bowlers continue to want the challenge of wood lanes.
Hours of operation are Sundays noon to 11 p.m., Mondays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturdays noon to midnight. Kent Bowl also features a restaurant, bar and meeting room.